Posted on April 12, 2014 AT 09:53am
The first Swords & Soldiers game, while a well-received real-time strategy game, had the look of something that seemed like child’s play. The folks at Ronimo Games decided that, for its upcoming sequel, a much-needed facelift was due. Thus we are given the rough-and-tough Swords & Soldiers II, a game that’s as wild and burly as a party in Valhalla.
At the Ronimo Games booth the developers animator Koen Gabriëls gave me a rundown on how the world of Swords & Soldiers works, seeing as I never got the chance to play the first one. For this one-leveled demo I was tasked to clear away a bunch of demons who have invaded the golf course of Redbeard the Viking, as well as killing McLonglife the caddy. During my play through I had a crew of women grabbing as many pieces of gold as possible, which could be used to buy warriors and cast spells, magic that can range from healing tactics to temporarily turning a demon into a sheep.
Soon after the first demon portal was shut down, another one appeared in the form of a hideous beast. However the slaying of the beast had to wait, as the appearance of a mega grill had Redbeard’s belly grumbling with glee. Soon after one of your meat-throwing vikings reached the grill and created a fancy feast, the option was given to perform a mega attack, which came in the form of a mega viking with a beer in hand shouting “Drink-a-drink!” like a certain Father Ted character. With this special attack you can perform three uppercuts, knocking down all enemies around his fist.
Playing Swords & Soldiers II on the Wii U GamePad gave me the exact RTS experience I’ve been looking for since the announcement of Nintendo’s console a couple years ago. By using your stylus (or finger) I sent up my men, gold gatherers, and conducted spells with a mere touch of the screen. While I’m still curious to see how a 3D real-time strategy would fare on the GamePad the 2D environments in Romino’s title fared extremely well with the commands I was giving it.
Gone are the cutesy characters, replaced with big brutes with the hairiest of beards and meanest of tempers. Not gone is its humorous undertones, which have been one-upped to be more entertaining to adults rather than kids. Its animation flowed beautifully, like a well-drawn cartoon with a nice dash of polish. (Gabriëls mentioned its animation style, unlike Awesomenauts‘ 80s syndicated look, was more based on French cartoons this time around, which brought to mind the likes of Oggy & The Cockroaches and Space Goofs.)
While the demo for Swords & Soldiers II was short it gave me a great insight on what to expect from the full game. Gabriëls did fill me in on another level that he was very proud of, but at this time cannot fully reveal in its whole. There will also be more kinds of vikings that you’ll be able to send into battle, along with some more spells and power-ups that’ll lay waste to the demons you come across.
Swords & Soldiers II will be a Wii U exclusive, with a tentative release date sometime late this year.
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